Coming together at the Hull Performance and Insight conference (HullPIC) 2019 in Italy

HullPic 2019

Ship operators, owners, developers and a host of other interested parties came together again for the fourth time at HullPIC 2019 to share experiences and discuss on all matters relating to performance monitoring.

Prior Back in 2011 if you googled “hull performance” I have it on the best authority that the top hit was a website related to the performance of horses run by an American gentleman called Chris Hull! If you do the same today you come up with quite a different selection of hits. At the top of the list you will find the Norwegian coatings specialist Jotun with their Hull Performance Solutions. So it comes as no surprise to find out that ISO nominated one of Jotun’s managers to lead work on the development of a new ISO standard for measuring hull and propeller performance a few years ago. Now published, since November 2016, the ISO 19030 Standard spawned its very own conference “HullPIC” which has just assembled for its 4th edition in the middle of Umbria, Italy.

Nearly 3 years since the publication of the standard, we caught up with the above-mentioned manager, Geir Axel Oftedahl, Director of Business Development at Jotun Marine, to find out what he sees as the major impact of ISO 19030. By far the biggest impact, according to him and many of the other 100 plus participants present at HullPIC this year, has been to raise the awareness in the industry of the potential for improved efficiency (and related cost savings) by looking more deeply into hull and propeller performance. Taking the standard as a common frame of reference enables all those interested to work systematically and make measurement of performance tangible. According to Geir Axel, a key goal when drafting the ISO 19030 was to remove subjectivity from the measurements to ensure that if you have the same data then you come out with the same results. Good practitioners can use their own methods while still making reference to the standard, so instead of being a constraint it actually serves as a strength.

Taking it one step further, having a common frame of reference has given a big push to innovation in the industry because any benefits can really be measured objectively. In the case of ship coatings, the emphasis for Jotun has now shifted from a purely chemical focus to a broader solution-oriented approach encompassing not only the product itself but how is it applied and maintained by the end user. Discussions on innovative techniques abounded during the 3 days at HullPIC and participants openly shared their experiences of successful and not so successful attempts at monitoring hull and propeller performance.

Part of the charm of HullPIC is the blend of operators, coating companies and developers who come together each year to exchange openly on these matters. This is reflected in the conference program which has evolved from presentations given mainly by developers in 2016 to this year’s contributions where well-known operators such as Maersk, Chevron shipping and the US Navy, reported on their experiences and concerns and around 40% of the attendees came from operator/owner/manager companies covering all major ship operation sectors (navy, cruise, container/MPV, gas tankers, tankers, bulkers). We also enjoyed presentations of joint project work between, for example, DNV GL with Scorpio Group, NAPA with MOL and DNV GL with PPG.

It became clear with comments from Ivana Melillo (d’Amico) during the final exchange forum at the end of the conference that it is not enough to collect all the data in the world if you do not also invest in properly trained crews and user-friendly interfaces to make sure the data collected is really useful. With a higher focus on training and human factors we could unlock more of the potential in the years to come.

The proceedings with all papers presented at HullPIC this year are freely available from

Maritime Academy offers the following related training courses A Practical Guide to Antifouling Management and ISO 19030 and Energy Efficient Operation of Ships.